When I was 17 and starting college for the first time, I got married and started my family early on in my life, and left school. After several years and a few kids I was determined to achieve a degree to continue teaching in early childhood. I started attending Scottsdale community college 4 nights a week while working full time. I was only able to take two classes at a time, but most days I was gone from 7am to 4pm at work, then straight to classes at college until 9 or 10 at night. I didn't see my family often that year between work, school and homework. Some tragic events led our family to lose our home in Scottsdale and we relocated to Buckeye. I knew I wanted to finish my degree more than ever, but travel cost and time were not a possibility. When I started at Rio, all my previous classes transferred, so I did not lose any ground. I was able to take more classes per semester while working on my weeknights and weekends. One semester I took 6 classes through Rio and 3 at GCC. This enabled me to come to my goal much faster than I had originally anticipated. I made Deans list several semesters and was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa due to my awesome grades and achievement. I was interviewed as one of 7 finalists for graduation speaker for this spring. Walking across the stage at graduation earlier this year was such an accomplishment. I am proud to have graduated from Rio Salado. Rio is still keeping me on my path. I am completing a few classes needed before I transfer to University. I am continuing my education, working toward Bachelors at NAU. I enjoy giving testimonial for Rio because my efforts have materialized into accomplishments.